World

Iran's Secret Nuke Facility Explained
September 25, 2009

A senior White House official, speaking at a background briefing today, explains the grounds for Obama's assertion this morning that "the size and configuration of this [Iranian] facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program": Our information is that the facility is designed to hold about 3,000 centrifuge machines.  Now, that's not a large enough number to make any sense from a commercial standpoint.  It cannot produce a significant quantity of low-enriched uranium.  But if you want to use the facility in order to produce a small amount of weapons-grade uranium, enough for a bomb or two a y

Exposing Iran
September 25, 2009

The dramatic revelation that Iran has a secret uranium-enrichment facility severely undermines one of Tehran's central talking points: that the West is denying Iran the its inherent right to peaceful nuclear power.

The Ticking Zazi Bomb?
September 25, 2009

It's a little weird that there hasn't been more alarm surrounding the apparently major Denver-based terror plot busted up by the feds in the past few days. Last night, ABC News reported that authorities believe Najibullah Zazi's may have co-plotters who are still at large. (The NYDN has reported the same.) Question #1: Doesn't this seem like something approaching the "ticking time bomb" scenario that constantly bedevils debates about interrogation techniques? How hard are the feds working Zazi for information about possible would-be terrorists inside the U.S. right now?

A Just Withdrawal
September 25, 2009

The headlines of the last few months make it clear that there are going to be no free passes for America when it comes to getting its troops out of Iraq. The recent bombing of a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, like the internal warfare in Sunni-dominated Anbar Provice, shows how many Iraqi security problems persist. But as President Obama continues the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, he should do more than pay attention to conditions on the ground.

Inside the Security Council: Miscellany
September 24, 2009

Disappointingly, Moamar Qaddafi didn't show up to speak for Libya at the security council this morning, although a Libyan representative did deliver a colorful speech demanding a permanent security council seat for his country and insisting that Israel to grant the IAEA open access to its Dimona nuclear facility. During the Libyan's remarks, Rahm Emanuel got up, walked across the room and sat down next to Congressman Bill Delahunt--who is a US delegate to this weeks' proceedings--throwing his arm around the Masschusetts Democrat and whispering in his ear. It was also interesting to see Hillary

Sarkozy Pushes on Iran, North Korea
September 24, 2009

This morning the UN security council unanimously passed a resolution echoing Barack Obama's vision of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. It's hard to criticize this vision, but some conservatives have criticized Obama's vision for a world without nuclear weapons as naive. And, more specifically, some are complaining that the broad themes discussed here this morning amount to going soft on Iran and North Korea, who are not mentioned by name in the resolution approved by the council, and who went unmentioned in Obama's opening remarks.

Inside the Security Council, Cont'd
September 24, 2009

At the opening of this morning's special Security Council session on nukes, Barack Obama opened his remarks with this dramatic vision: As I said yesterday, this very institution was founded at the dawn of the atomic age, in part because man's capacity to kill had to be contained.  And although we averted a nuclear nightmare during the Cold War, we now face proliferation of a scope and complexity that demands new strategies and new approaches.  Just one nuclear weapon exploded in a city -- be it New York or Moscow; Tokyo or Beijing; London or Paris -- could kill hundreds of thousands of people

Inside the Security Council
September 24, 2009

This morning I'm inside the UN Security Council chamber for the special session, chaired by president Obama, on nuclear nonproliferation. Still not sure what to expect, as it's not clear whether anything unexpected might happen and, not unrelated, whether Moamar Qaddafi, whose country is currently a non-permanent Security Council member, will be here. For entertainment's sake, I certainly hope so. Stay tuned. Update: Early sightings as diplomats and leaders fill the room and schmooze: Sam Nunn, Henry Kissinger, Samantha Power.

Qaddafi's Killer Virgins Exposed!
September 24, 2009

Believe it or not, someone made a film about them. You can see the trailer here.

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